Thursday, April 30, 2015

Catching Up on Avengers History

Tomorrow, May 1st, the newest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, will be released. The new film will explore more of the Avengers rich history as new characters like the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and the Vision join the established team of Captain America, Thor, Iron-Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye.

As a kid, I loved reading the Avengers and while I usually became attached to certain team lineups, I always enjoyed when new members would join the team, just to see some of my favorite heroes team-up with Earth's Mightiest Heroes. I remember issue #137 in particular when X-Men's Beast joined the team and how fun it was seeing him in a different context as a member of the team.

For those of you planning to see the new movie, now might be a good time to catch up on your Avengers history. There's a new book out called The Avengers Vault, which is a great way to do that. While serious comics buffs might not necessarily learn much that's new, it's a great refresher and is also a perfect introduction for youngsters who are just learning about comics and their heroes.

I still have this issue from when I was a
kid, when the Beast joined the team.
I was giving a free comic of the book for review purposes, and wrote a review over at Comic Attack. One of the coolest things about this book is the inclusion of old "artifact" pieces, like pencil sketches, color guides, posters, and a reproduction of a vintage membership card for the Sentinels of Liberty, a Captain America fan club from 1941. These are all really cool, well-produced pieces that help to give an historical backdrop to the Avengers, and Marvel Comics in general.

I highly recommend this book - below is the first part of my review, including a link at the end where you can click-through to read the full review.

Also, don't forget that this Saturday, May 2nd, is Free Comic Book Day! Head on over to your local comic book shop and grab some free comics to explore some new characters or companies you've not heard of or read before. And, while you're there, don't forget that your shop actually does have to pay for those books - while they're free to you, they do cost the shop money. So, why not pay for a couple of other comics, a graphic novel, trade paperback, or other items while you're at your shop as a way of saying "thanks" for the effort they go to for Free Comic Book Day? One highly anticipated free comic book this year is Divergence by DC Comics, which will unveil new looks for DC's three main characters, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. In particular, given the events of what happened in Batman #40, which just came out yesterday, the Batman news should be pretty interesting.

Here's the opening part of my review of The Avengers Vault:

This spring sees the release of one of the biggest and most anticipated movies of the year, Avengers: Age of Ultron. The first movie was gigantic in terms of its box office receipts and no doubt created some new fans of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in all forms of media, from comics to animation to the silver screen.
 Just in time for the release of the movie, and to help both new and old fans to wade through the more than 50-year history of the team, is The Avengers Vault, a huge, beautifully constructed hardback book with more than 170 pages of history, biographies, art, and reproductions of posters and other items from the Avengers’ past. This is a hefty book, but it’s very approachable and is written in a conversational, but educated and informed, tone that really will appeal to new fans of the franchise without alienating those who have been following the team’s exploits for awhile.
Peter A. David, the author, really knows his stuff. Unlike some comic collection historians, David is actually primarily a fiction and comics writer, having written a long 12-run on the Incredible Hulk...  (click here to read the rest of the review)

Hanging: Home office (laptop)
Drinking: tap water
Listening: "Saturday Night" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin


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